Intro: Interview with Julian one year after release of Awake
Julian Marley lived a very different life than his older half-brothers, Ziggy, Damien and Stephen. Julian was raised in London by his mother, Lucy Pounder. And even though he would make annual trips to Jamaica to visit his father, reggae legend Bob Marley, and the rest of his family, Julian was a distinct product of multicultural London.
Question: What was your relationship with Kingston and your father’s side of the family?
Answer: I used to go back every year starting in 1981 for summer holiday, but then I realized, ‘I really want to focus on music. I love music, and I need to be where the music is happening.’ And so around ‘92, I moved to Jamaica. It was different. I was 17, and I was more serious about music. I had an idea of Jamaica, and when I was there it was easier to form a band and make music, which was a dream
Question: How do you think that time in London affected what was to become your music?
Answer: Even now I’m still listening for the differences in me and my brothers’ music. Growing up in England, maybe I saw the same injustices as in America or Jamaica. The world is one. Everywhere you go, it’s the same thing. You realize it’s one world, really, no matter where you come from.
Question: You and your brothers continue to perform your father’s music. Why is that important?
Answer: We all perform our father’s music, yes. We love his music. We love our father. He’s a part of us. He’s the tradesman, and he showed us the trade, and you have to respect that.
Intro: Dates for Julian Marley & The Uprising Tour announced!
Julian Marley has announced the dates for the summer leg of his continually expanding ‘Awake’ tour with his band The Uprising , which will see the reggae singer-songwriter headlining venues throughout Europe the entire month of July , 2010 including the territories of Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Morocco, Poland, Israel and Portugal.
Julian Marley notes, “Being on tour is truly the fruits of our labour, and I give thanks to all the fans who continue to help us breathe new life into each and every live show.”
Born in London in 1975, Julian Marley has been blessed both by his father’s great talent and legacy and by the unique perspective that comes with an upbringing in a multicultural community. Having been exposed to music all his life, Julian “Ju Ju” Marley has become a skillful veteran performer, producer and songwriter with numerous successful international tours and albums under his belt. Known for his remarkable stage presence, the talented reggae singer’s live performance echoes the sonic fusion captured on Awake. Backed by his band The Uprising, Julian Marley’s live set has been described as “captivating” by critics and fans alike.
Intro: An interview from the road
Julian "Ju Ju" Marley said: "I have become increasingly aware of how self-motivating my upbringing in London and the history of the UK Reggae scene has been to my music.
"I feel privileged to be a part of the musical roots that my father laid in England. Through my musical creations, visions and contributions, I look forward to relating the cultural gifts that have been bestowed on to me back onto the children of London and the UK music scene."
Transcending musical genres, Julian Marley has become a spiritual, moral, musical visionary with an international mission. Just as his father, he ranks higher in the consciousness movement of music than most reggae artists recognised today.
It must be hard growing up in the shadow of one of the most legendary musicians of all time, but for Julian Marley, son of the late, great Bob Marley, the path into a musical career has been all his own.
“There’s no barriers in music. It depends what aroma awakens your taste buds, what sound awakens that sensation in the mind and in the soul.”
“People in Australia really accept and love the music,” he says of previous tour experiences. “Being so far from where we are, on the other side of the earth in Jamaica, coming to Australia is great – there’s a lot of love out there!”
"I Like Music because…without music life would be very dull. It's one of the best gifts from God, and it's here to keep you calm. Any time you're feeling down it'll bring you up!" JULIAN MARLEY
ILM: What do you look forward to the most about playing live?
Julian Marley: When I play music I have such a feeling of joy. It's an overwhelming feeling every time we play. It's fun; we love to play!
ILM: You've toured the world and played many shows. Which have been some of the most memorable?
Julian: Every experience is a great experience. You play so many shows that you kind of remember, but don't remember them all. But you just know that everywhere you go you get love. Music is a universal thing that breaks all barriers. It breaks race and it breaks class. It breaks all barriers down. Everywhere you go, the people might not speak English, but they're moving their head in the same time as you like a nation. Ethiopia was a great performance, we played there at the millennium at the Africa Unite concert.
ILM: How would you describe your process of writing songs?
Julian: I sit down with a guitar and I like to be in a quiet and peaceful setting. From there inspiration comes, whether from something you experienced in the day, or from the news or whatever it is. Sometimes it just comes differently. I might be behind the keyboard just playing and a little idea will come to me. I like to start with the instrument. That's what gets you going. After a few chords your mind starts to find its way.
ILM: What would your advice be for young musicians who want to make a career for themselves?
Julian: Don't just play your instrument; practice! If not every day, then every other day. Musicians of our father's generation were much better than nowadays. Now you have the computer you can play one riff once, press copy and it just plays over. For five hours if you want it to! In those days you had to play it! The singers of the seventies went into the studio and sang it one time. Three minutes straight. Nowadays you can do all kinds of stuff with the vocal. That really breaks down the whole stamina of the music. Everyone needs to nurture the music properly, and get back to the roots. No-one wants to hear about 'shoot up the place, rob your brother and don't care about your sister'. People don't want them kinds of things.
"I want to keep it real for people, to progress and pursue new ideas. I want to help people be positive and less selfish in their lives and the decisions they make."
Despite growing up in London, Julian has spent much of his life in Jamaica.
"There is a different vibe over there man," he said. "It has sunshine, beautiful white sandy beaches and a mellow atmosphere. It is an best place to make reggae music."
Julian hopes to keep reggae alive. "I want to keep on making good music," he said. "I want to keep it real for people, to progress and pursue new ideas. I want to help people be positive and less selfish in their lives and the decisions they make."